Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dry-Aging & Warm Aging w/ Fish Sauce & Sous-Vide

 The Working Stiffs answer to the ultimate steak. For those of you that don't frequent fancy steak houses this is a great option.

This is not a new post but an addendum to an older post called Crazy Sous-Vide Meat Aging Experiment. In my original post I experimented with Warm Aging using Sous-Vide cooking techniques (and science) and Dry-Aging using Fish sauce. Both experiments were wildly successful but I wanted to take it a step further and combine both. 

The Fish Sauce Dry-Aging approach creates a steak that is sublime and brings out the ultimate Umami characteristics that you would only find in a Dry-Aged steak. So what does that mean exactly? When you use Fish Sauce to Dry-Age beef you get serious Beefy flavor that is otherwise found in conventional Dry-Aged beef. Additionally genuine Dry-Age Beef provides the added benefit of tenderization. However the fish sauce approach does not accomplish this but Warm Aging does. So I thought it would be cool to combine both techniques and produce an ultimate steak. Mission accomplished!!! 

If you want a lot of details read the original post above. Here I will give a short snippet of what I did. 

Fish Sauce Aging applied (brushed on) at 3%. The steak was vacuumed sealed and refrigerated for 3 days. I.E if the steak weighed 1000 grams I would use 30 grams of Fish sauce.

When you're ready warm up your Sous-Vide to 104 f degrees and submerge your steak. The steak must sit in this mildly warm bath for 90 minutes. 

Now comes the choice. After the 90 min thermal bath crank up the Sous-Vide to your desired temp. I personally like 131 f for 3 hours. But you could choose something entirely different. More time/less time and even a higher/lower temp if you want. You could also decided to warm age but finish with a reverse sear. It all works. 

At this point I always Ice/Cold shock the steaks to use later on in that day or a day or two later. This helps reduce the graying gradient that would happen during the sear.

My initial thoughts after removing the steak from the bag were as follows. Very pleasant beefy smell. Surprise surprise no fish smell. 

After the steak was removed from the bag I dried it off very well and added a custom rub that included a touch of brown sugar and just a little more salt. Note: it needs very little salt at this juncture because the fish already contains salt. 

After Sear- I knew right away that this process is very special. There was no fish smell. Very pleasing strong beef smell and taste. Extremely pleasing to the palate and as expected very tender.  

UPDATE 4/02/17- Depending on the thickness of the steak I am finding that 1.75-2.25% Fish Sauce is adequate.